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Five Quick Thoughts: Falcons

It was yet another tough experience for Redskins Nation, as Washington had every chance to hand Atlanta their first loss of the season; but in the end, it was the Falcons who came out on top 24-17. Here are some quick thoughts on the game:

1) Robert Griffin III – Obviously the collective breaths of every Redskin fan on the planet, were held tight, when RGIII was drilled in the head. Mildly concussed, he wouldn’t return. Hopefully RGIII will recover quickly and be ready for next week, but will this be a wake up call to the importance of sliding for the young rookie? Tough is tough, but you don’t have to be careless to be tough. He needs to learn to protect himself a bit better, and live to fight another down. It’s hard to even suggest to someone with the kind of fire and integrity that RGIII has, that he should take the ‘easier route’ but that’s what he needs to do. His team needs him – for more than any one game, or any one play.

The kid is awesome though isn’t he? When Kirk Cousins came in, we were quickly reminded of what a rookie quarterback SHOULD look like in the NFL. That isn’t to take anything away from Cousins because I felt he did well, and just tried to force the issue a bit. He was thrown into the fire, and he had good and bad things happen – exactly what you expect from a greenhorn.

But we don’t see that with RGIII, and his importance and his value have never been more apparent than the moment that we didn’t have him available. The kid is special.

Get well soon.

* – An interesting developing side story to this is that the Redskins did not report Griffin’s concussion during the game as per NFL rules. The Redskins merely stated that he was, ‘Shaken up.” but at no time did they rule out the possibility of his return. Read more about it here.

2) Alfred Morris – I only mentioned RGIII first because that’s obviously where a lot of Redskins fans minds are at, following the loss. Morris was easily the most notable game performance of any Redskin though. He followed up his first ever 100-yard game last week, with another against the Falcons (18 carries, 115 yards, 6.4 YPC). He ran around people, over people, through people – I tweeted that this guy runs like a shaved bear. So much conviction and purpose when he runs, that you’re starting to see DBs take a much more ‘strategic approach’ to trying to tackle him.

He brings wood on every play. I absolutely love the way this kid runs.

3) Billy Cundiff – I can’t believe that he hasn’t already been fired. What are the Redskins waiting for, a new leg to come in the mail? Anybody that leaves one pining for the return of even Graham Gano, is not just bad, they’re putrid. Gano may have missed a few important kicks, but he didn’t miss EVERY kick. Nobody has any faith or belief in Cundiff’s leg at this point – including himself – what else matters? 31-yarders should be like extra points to an NFL kicker, and Cundiff has missed from that distance twice in two weeks. Confidence is everything for a kicker, and Cundiff has none right now. Why do we want to let him ‘find his way’ on our roster, while costing us points? Kick him to the curb – and try not to be wide right.

4) Opposing Tight Ends – Are killing us. I tweeted before the game that while everyone was worrying about Julio Jones and Roddy White, that I was worried about ‘Old Man Gonzalez’ because we historically have struggled to cover tight ends with this defense.

It was unfortunately, never more apparent than on Sunday. Yes Gonzalez is arguably the best receiving tight end of all time, but he doesn’t usually look quite like the Tony of old anymore. He did on Sunday though – 13 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. If I’m the opposition’s offensive co-ordinator – I’m gashing our defense with tight ends until we show that we can stop it – because we haven’t been able to yet.

5) Lorenzo Alexander – I want to finish on a high, not a low, so I’ll do that with Zo. The One Man Gang is a special teams machine. Send him to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl again, he deserves it. How is a guy that big almost always the first down field? Pure heart. The dude balls out every week, and he works just as hard in the community if not harder. If I’m going to end with something positive, I want it to be Zo, and the fact that he continues to bust heads and set the tone on special teams.

On to the Vikings. Hail!

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